Austerity Pushes The UK Back Into Recession — Will American Conservatives Learn The Lesson?

The United Kingdom is officially back in a recession, after seeing growth drop 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. But neither Prime Minister David Cameron nor Chancellor George Osborne are backing down from their Conservative government’s adoption of austerity measures.

“The solution to a debt crisis cannot be more debt,” Cameron said, after calling the latest growth numbers “very, very disappointing.” Cameron even bragged about his nation’s low interest rate on its debt. Osborne, meanwhile, said in a statement that “the one thing that would make the situation even worse would be to abandon our credible plan and deliberately add more borrowing and even more debt.”

Osborne predicted back in November that Britain would not experience a double dip recession. But with the implementation of his austerity plan, the UK is not only experiencing a worse recovery than the one following the Great Depression, but is doing worse than the rest of the Eurozone (despite the fact that the UK doesn’t face the monetary policy restrictions that the Euro nations face):


Of course, it’s not like the Eurozone, with it’s own set of austerity measures in Greece, Spain, and other nations, has fared well:

As the New York Times noted yesterday, austerity has fueled a backlash in Europe, causing the Dutch government to fall and the French to vote against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of their presidential election. Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic are all back in a recession. Yet the sort of budget cutting that led to these results is the same as that which Republicans want to bring to the U.S.